Simon Davies presenting a ‘Tech Talk’ seminar at Google, Mountainview CA, 2010

Simon Davies

Marcus Aurelius cleverly observed: “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing”. That just about sums up Simon Davies’ career: a triumph of exertion over elegance.

Moderating the United Nations IGF, Egypt, 2009

Davies has spent his life fighting institutional barbarism. From his teenage years campaigning on such issues as historical sites preservation, housing reform and drug law reform he shifted his focus nearly thirty years ago to the fledgling world of privacy. He unintentionally became one of the pioneers of the international privacy arena and was the first person to campaign at a global level. He is now widely acknowledged as one of the most influential privacy experts in the world and is often described as the world’s most frequently quoted privacy advocate.

Simon is the Founder and for 22 years was Director-General of the influential watchdog group Privacy International which has been at the forefront of almost every major sphere of privacy, from CCTV and identity systems to border surveillance and biometrics policy.. Over the years he has helped expose the secret machinations of governments, police authorities, corporations and spy agencies. nightline split

He is also an academic, consultant, journalist and author.  He has been a Visiting Fellow in Law at both the University of Greenwich and the University of Essex, a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at George Washington University and for 14 years until 2011 was appointed to the London School of Economics, where he taught the groundbreaking MSc Masters course in “Privacy & Data Protection”.
He is also co-director of the LSE’s Policy Engagement Network  

In addition to this background Simon has also advised a wide range of corporate, government and professional bodies, and has worked on technology, privacy and identity issues in more than fifty countries.  He has also worked closely with many of the market leaders in Web 2.0 and comms on the development of technical solutions to privacy protection and has also been an Expert Advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Simon has founded many initiatives and organisations including the Big Brother Awards to recognise the heroes and villains of privacy. Since 1998 there have been 160 BBA award ceremonies in 20 countries.

In April 1999, he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Pioneer” award for his contribution to the development of Internet freedoms and in 2004 and 2005 Silicon.com voted him as one of the world’s 50 most influential people in technology policy. In 2007 he was made a Fellow of the British Computer Society. Simon has published widely in academic publications and is regularly invited to speak at conferences and functions.

With over 15,000 media interviews and 3,000 speaking engagements under his belt Simon has proved a popular and enduring interview subject for media, having appeared on almost every major current affairs program and newspaper in the world. He contributes regularly to dozens of newspapers and publications,

Simon (far right) mentoring the first ever CCTV street action, here seen negotiating with police to avoid mass arrests, Brighton 1997 (photo Alan Lodge)

Simon (far right) mentoring the first ever CCTV street action, here seen negotiating with police to avoid mass arrests, Brighton 1997 (photo Alan Lodge)





The Privacy Surgeon

Privacy Surgeon is Simon Davies’ brain space. It’s where ideas and analysis happen, where accountability is put to the test and where the on-line future is explored. Simon has gathered the support of a talented and influential group of collaborators who he relies on for advice and who will contribute guest blogs.

It’s not merely a space for ideas, critiques and analysis; it’s also a hub for events and activism. In recent months for example Privacy Surgeon has published a major report on the impact of the Snowden revelations in conjunction with dozens of authors worldwide, started the Code Red initiative to help counter the activities of national security agencies, lodged a formal plea to the Attorney General of England & Wales to commence a police investigation into GCHQ, brought complaints against four EU police agencies, commenced a process with the UN to have the security giant G4S expelled from the UN Global Accord, established a cash bounty for the seizure of DNA or fingerprints of spy agency chiefs, published breaking information on NSA activities, taken action in the European Commission to shed light on Google’s activities and published a series of “how to” guides for citizen activism.

As you can see from our privacy policy, Privacy Surgeon has a zero data collection policy. That means no snooping, data retention or cookies. To us you are just another data point flashing through the servers – a stream of cold anonymous bits with no pretence of any sort of customer relationship interest. There; can you feel the love?

So since we don’t know anything about you I can now reveal our top team of advisers and techies who will be delighted to help resolve site or content issues in whatever way they can.

The Privacy Surgeon and the work of Simon Davies is supported by a variety of funding sources, including the University of Amsterdam, the London School of Economics, Sweden’s TLD foundation and Microsoft.